Dara Birnbaum was born in 1946 in New York, USA. She studied architecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She then learned video editing at the Video Study Center of Global Village, New School for Social Research in New York, graduating in 1976. In 1978, she took a teaching position at NSCAD University in Halifax, where she collaborated with Dan Graham. She held further teaching positions from 1992 to 1993 at the Städel-Hochschule für Bildende Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, and Princeton University, New Jersey, New York. The artist has won numerous prizes and awards, including the First Prize for Video at the San Sebastian Film Festival (1983), the TV Picture Prize at the XII Festival International de la Video et des Arts Electroniques in Locarno (1991), and the Special Jury Prize at the German Video Art Prize in 1992. Dara Birnbaum lives and works in New York.